An MTR train carrying passengers has derailed in Hong Kong for the first time, leading to a service suspension on the East Rail line.
Services between Mong Kok East and Hung Hom stations have been shut down after a carriage came off the track on Tuesday morning, the MTR Corporation said.
An MTR source said the company had not received any formal reports of injuries. However, emergency services were at the scene to help those affected.
The Post understands the derailment happened at a diverting point where trains are directed to different platforms.
At that section, the diversion of trains and their speed are controlled by computer. The MTR is still investigating the cause of derailment.
A senior source of MTR Corp earlier said they had not found any suspicious objects on the track, with the investigation at its early stages.
The incident site was enclosed so it was hard for outsiders to access it, the source added, hinting it was very difficult for anyone to cause disruption at that location.
A paramedic said they had initially received no reports of injury. "But later, some complained of discomfort or shortness of breath probably due to the anxiety and fright," he said.
Another paramedic said three passengers with complaints of discomfort were sent to hospital.
A female passenger described the moment of derailment as an explosion before she was stretchered away.
A man who appeared to be a tourist at first thought there was nothing out of the ordinary, but later he saw people falling over as smoke billowed.
Some of the passengers on board of the train were brought to a control room for medical attention.
A fleet of ambulances, fire engines and police vans were lined up outside Hung Hom station on standby, with firefighters and policemen at the scene offering assistance.
The train left Mong Kok East towards Hung Hom but a carriage derailed en route. The rail operator initially released information the train was heading in the opposite direction.
Images circulating online showed passengers leaving the carriage, which stood across two sets of tracks, through a damaged train door. They were seen walking along the tracks to safety.
A man, who gave his surname was Kwok, was seen at Hung Hom station in a wheelchair. He said he had knocked his head when the train had derailed.
Kwok told reporters he had heard a strange noise, after which the carriage began shaking and veering from side-to-side.
The carriage he was in held 40 to 50 passengers, mostly women and at least one child. Kwok said he helped them to leave before he was tended to by first aid workers.
The derailed carriage appeared to be one of the middle ones in the service.
The connections between the carriages looked to have broken off. A hole could be seen where the cables were seemingly ripped from.
Meanwhile, services on the West Rail line have been affected with trains between Hung Hom and Tuen Mun running every 12 minutes. Services between Nam Cheong and Tuen Mun are running at six-minute intervals.
MTR Corp has arranged a free shuttle bus service in both directions between Tai Wai and Diamond Hill to ease the impact on Kowloon-bound passengers.
Train services on the East Rail line between Mong Kok East and Lo Wu station near the border with mainland China continue to run at six-minute intervals, with services to Lok Ma Chau remaining every 18 minutes.
Tuesday's incident was the first time a train carrying passengers had derailed in the MTR Corp's 40-year history.
Last year, two trains without passengers crashed during an out-of-hours service trial of a new signaling system near Central station, causing services between Central and Admiralty stations to close for 48 hours.
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